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4.5 out of 5 stars
66
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 5 June 2017
Not easy movie but lot of acting for thinking. Not as todays Singing with the stars nothingness. Good class description of social bounderies in English society . Well made drama with social content.
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on 16 May 2017
Watching the old Bogarde films and having read recently The Authorised Biography I have honestly developed a greater respect for. the man. I also recommend Victim which I bought from Amazon.
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on 29 April 2017
There is a need for an edition of THE SERVANT which includes, as extras, the deleted scenes. In the interviews published as LOSEY ON LOSEY, the director told Tom Milne that he 'would really like to restore all the scenes that were cut. They do still exist'.
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on 26 April 2017
Completely satisfied thank you.
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on 25 June 2017
Great!
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on 26 May 2017
Great film, gorgeous print, and received in a timely manner. I love amazon.co.uk!
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on 14 March 2016
Two of the best Dirk Bogarde films represent very good value jt
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on 5 May 2016
Interesting.
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on 31 July 2011
The most erotic scene ever filmed with no nudity whatsoever ... just your imagination. It contains the Master of the house and Baratts 'sister' in the kitchen (if my memory serves me correct) There is a dripping tap, innuendo, huge amounts of discomfort, anticipation and not a nipple in sight. Wonderful, wonderful acting!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2015
Of course, by the time Dirk Bogarde’s deceiving 'underling’, Barrett, is pleading his case to Wendy Craig’s schoolmarm-ish Susan, the pairing of director Joseph Losey and screenwriter Harold Pinter have already (in our minds) at least partially put paid to any archaic definition of social/class roles in their stunning 1963 cinematic collaboration. The Servant remains one of a handful of defining British films of the era that encapsulate the revolutionary effect that the new-found liberalism of the ‘swinging 60s’ would have on the arts and culture in the UK – the film’s innovative look and feel being heavily influenced by US-exile Losey’s European connections and delivered to the screen with much evocative and inventive cinematography courtesy of (ex-Ealing man) Douglas Slocombe, accompanied by John Dankworth’s alternately sultry and comedic, jazzy score.

Losey’s film is also an acting tour-de-force – Bogarde playing against type (and demonstrating great versatility) as the softly-spoken, subversive (but cultured) Lancastrian man-servant to the inexperienced (but highly impressive) James Fox’s self-confident, well-connected 'aristocrat’, Tony (albeit, as an ex-Harrow man, the role being something of a busman’s holiday for the aspiring actor). Equally, and perhaps surprisingly, impressive is Craig (yes, TV’s 'most respectable mother’!) as Tony’s open-minded, perceptive fiancée, whose hackles are raised as Barrett begins to (subtly) wrest influence over Tony from her. Losey’s film is also ground-breaking in its latent (and not-so-latent) sexual themes – Tony and Barrett’s early scenes being underpinned by hints of homo-eroticism ('I’m keeping an eye on them’) – whilst Barrett’s 'sister’ and coy seductress, Sarah Miles’ Vera’s, arrival on the scene, prompts things to boil over. Losey’s handling of, and Pinter’s dialogue for, the scenes between Barrett and Susan and those between Tony and Vera (the dripping tap) are particularly impressive, being brilliantly suffused with (respectively) tension and eroticism. Further mention should also be made of Slocombe’s work as integral to the film’s haunting, unnerving tone – great use of mirrors’ distorting effect on proceedings, as well as shadows, tilted frames and shots through glass.

Elsewhere, the film’s parodying of the British class system (a pet Pinter subject, of course) hits a high point during the brilliant 'cameo scene’ between Tony, Susan and Tony’s mother and father, Lord and Lady Mounset (respectively, Richard Vernon and Catherine Lacey), full of hilarious pretense and self-importance ('fascinating’). Indeed, the film’s depiction of this class-manners-taste theme calls to my mind, particularly during the claustrophobic scenes in Tony’s West London 'pad’, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, as well as hints of the cinema of Bunuel and Renoir. But, perhaps The Servant’s most direct comparator is Cammell and Roeg’s 'turn of the decade’ classic, 1970’s Performance – both films being set in 'trendy 60s’ West London, both being films of two halves, the second halves in each involving the breakdown of a defined British 'social system’ (Performance – gangland, The Servant – the aristocracy) into anarchic, drug-fuelled hippy liberalisation, and both films (oddly enough) featuring impressive ‘downfalls’ of a James Fox character.

The 2013 Studiocanal DVD also includes extensive interviews with James Fox, Wendy Craig, Sarah Miles, Pinter, Losey and Douglas Slocombe (audio only).

For me, The Servant represents the pinnacle of the highly fruitful collaborations between Losey and Pinter and is a key British film of the 60s (and indeed any era).
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